sesame & almond asparagus salad

I made this last week for my sister and her husband while they were in town. I don’t know if we were trying to impress them with some kind of kitchen wonders, but last Sunday night we (I) decided we would attempt to make our own cheese, roll out our own pasta, and whip up some lemon tarts… all after a long afternoon of walking around in the hot sun and a quick stop at our favorite wine bar. We all arrived home sweaty and exhausted, ready for the cooking fun to begin.

The cheese was an epic failure, the pasta was delicious but not on the table until 11:30pm. This salad, however, I whipped up and served right away and everyone loved it.

Bright, crunchy asparagus pieces are tossed with handfuls of leafy greens in a tangy dijon vinaigrette. But the real special part here is the salty, crunchy, nuttiness from the toasted sesame seeds and almonds. Plus, you can have it on the table in less than 15 minutes.

I’ll be making this one again and again…. with store bought cheese.

adapted from Farmhouse Table

serves 2-4 as a side.

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups asparagus, tender parts only, cut into 1 inch pieces (blanched)
a few handfuls of arugula or other salad greens (about 2 cups)
2 Tbs. sesame seeds, toasted
3 Tbs. sliced almonds, toasted
feta or other cheese, optional

dressing: (use only as much as needed, there will be extra)
1 shallot, minced
2 Tbs. lemon juice
2 Tbs. white wine or champagne vinegar
1 Tbs. dijon mustard
1/3 c. olive oil
1 teaspoon honey
salt & pepper to taste

METHOD:
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. While the water is boiling, get a medium bowl of ice water ready. Drop asparagus into the boiling water for 30 seconds or until it’s bright green but still crunchy. Remove from boiling water and transfer to the bowl of ice water to quickly stop the cooking process. Once asparagus is cooled, lay it to dry on a towel.

Toast sesame seeds and almond slices in a small skillet with a few pinches of salt. Set aside.

Whisk all dressing ingredients together.

Toss arugula and asparagus in the dressing (taste and decide how much or little you want to use).

Arrange greens on a platter and top with the toasted almonds, sesame seeds & a bit of cheese if you wish.

 

 

7 comments

  1. Shannalee from foodloveswriting.com on said:

    Haha! I love stories like that, if only because they remind me that kitchen disasters happen to all of us. This salad looks so good!

  2. The Cuisinerd on said:

    I know this scenario all too well- but this salad?! Nice to meet you delicious thing! Adding to my list…yum!

  3. Courtney Jones from thefigtree.blogspot.com on said:

    What a beautiful, simple salad. :) I may have to run to the store right now and get some asparagus! Cannot wait to try this one out.

  4. Sorry to hear about your cheese, but kudos on a lovely salad. I enjoyed some fresh asparagus (fresh=picked that morning) from the farmer’s market last season and was AMAZED at how wonderful it was. I felt like I had never had aspargus before in my life. My goal is to plant some myself as soon as I have a plot for it–

  5. thelittleloaf from thelittleloaf.wordpress.com on said:

    This post made me smile – it’s exactly the kind of thing I’d have done! Salad looks gorgeous though, and I bet your pasta was delicious too :-)

  6. Kym Lee on said:

    I made a variation where I grilled the asparagus, substituted parsley for arugula, omitted nuts, same dressing, and used Parmesan instead of feta. Delicious!
    Love your recipes!!!

    • jeanine from loveandlemons.com on said:

      mmm grilled asparagus, sounds so good! Glad you could find some inspiration to adapt from!

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